From The Desk Of Times New Viking’s Elizabeth Murphy: No Tops Without Bottoms, No Bottoms Without Tops: Being Defined By What You Are Not

Times New Viking is an Ohio rock trio that delivers raw rock ‘n’ roll. Jumping from different labels over the years including Matador and Merge, the band has released five proper albums in a little more than five years. On its last album, Dance Equired (Merge), Times New Viking dropped the lo-fi fuzz in favor of more melodious songs. These art-school grads from Columbus, Ohio, are still making music, and the band’s Elizabeth Murphy will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

“I can’t help it
If you might think I’m odd,
If I say I’m loving you not for what you are
But what you’re not.”

—Bob Dylan, “I’ll Keep It with Mine”

Murphy: Muffin Tops: This product is a lie. The reason that everyone loves the tops of muffins is inherent to the way the whole of a muffin is made. The top of a muffin, when torn off what is now essentially its base or pedestal, is soft and perfect and desirable because it was conceived parasitically from a bottom that beared all the brunt of foreseeable hard edges and possible staleness. You cannot bake muffin tops alone and expect the same results. This is like saying you have baked a loaf of crust-less bread. Crust happens in the baking process, only by tearing the crust off of the bread in post-production can crust-less bread exist.

Donut Holes: A hole is the absence of something. A hole does not exist in itself and can only be defined by its surroundings. I am willing to overlook this linguistic misstep because the “donut hole” as we know it, is born of the hole in a donut. Yet it would be more accurate to call it a donut remainder. Yes, we are using every part of the donut here! There is no waste! But before you place donut-making in the depression-era commons of asceticism or label it a serendipitous invention like the Long Island Ice Tea, let’s hear it from an employee at Howard’s Donuts here in Memphis how these holes come to be: “It is a lot of work. It really is a pain in the ass.”

Both of these products seem to be in response to the upper crust desire to consume only the best; carving out the riffraff of a product to the pill-sized epicenter of desire, the gluttonous whittling.